Walmart teams up with Google for voice activated shopping

Google and Walmart Partner With Eye on Amazon

"That is well-adapted to voice ordering because a device can recall the preferred brand, size and type, without requiring shoppers to scan through different product listings". Starting in September, the American store giant's customers will be able to use Google Home to verbally place orders through their smartphone and also get them delivered at home. Google Express already offers products from a variety of stores, such as Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report).

Google Express is Google's way of helping high street retailers offer their products online. Categories will include clothing, non-perishable groceries, and household staples.

"To take advantage of this personalization, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express", Lore added. The Bluetooth feature addition to Google Home should increase the number of compatible devices that will work with Home for music streaming. That will make Walmart the most prolific seller on Google Express.

But while Amazon and Google's voice-controlled speakers are gaining popularity, people use them mainly for basic tasks such as making telephone calls or playing music.

The Wall Street Journal writes: "A significant portion of online shopping is made up of consumers reordering the same staples".

In the U.S., it has the lion's share of the voice-controlled device industry, with its Echo devices accounting for 72% of the market in 2016, compared to the Google Home gadget's 22%, according to research from eMarketer. When it comes to shopping, Walmart has been battling it out with Amazon for a long time now.

Amazon's AI virtual assistant Alexa already enables users to shop directly from the online retail giant. At the end of the day, Google might just be guessing and so there is a possibility that the service might appear a bit "clunky" at the beginning.

A less flashy but equally important part of the announcement is that Google Express will now be free if the order value is above some defined purchase minimum (typically $25-$35). These buys are paying dividends so far-online sales were up 60 percent in Walmart's second quarter earnings.

Google Express has been instructive for Google, says Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, though he doubts it's having much of an impact on Amazon. "We're thrilled to partner with one of the most popular stores in America to help make your shopping faster and easier".

For Walmart, introducing a voice-ordered feature may pique some customers' interest - but it won't close the deep e-commerce gap that yawns between it and Amazon.

Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, and Google, the internet's predominant search engine, are teaming up in an attempt to challenge Amazon's growing dominance in online shopping.

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